Tag Archives: public space

Panhandling and the contestation of public space in Guangzhou

Ryanne Flock1 (2014), « Panhandling and the Contestation of Public Space in Guangzhou », China Perspectives [Online], 2014/2 | 2014, Online since 01 June 2014, connection on 17 December 2014. URL : http://chinaperspectives.revues.org/6449

Abstract

Urban public space is a product of contestations by various actors. This paper focuses on the conflict between local level government and beggars to address the questions: How and why do government actors refuse or allow beggars access to public space? How and why do beggars appropriate public space to receive alms and adapt their strategies? How does this contestation contribute to the trends of urban public space in today’s China? Taking the Southern metropolis of Guangzhou as a case study, I argue that beggars contest expulsion from public space through begging performances. Rising barriers of public space require higher investment in these performances, taking even more resources from the panhandling poor. The trends of public order are not unidirectional, however. Beggars navigate between several contextual borders composed by China’s religious renaissance; the discourse on deserving, undeserving, and dangerous beggars; and the moral legitimacy of the government versus the imagination of a successful, “modern,” and “civilised” city. This conflict shows the everyday production of “spaces of representation” by government actors on the micro level where economic incentives merge with aspirations for political prestige.

 More information on the author

  1. Ryanne Flock is a PhD candidate at Freie Universität Berlin.Freie Universität Berlin, East Asian Institute, Ehrenbergstr. 26-28, 14195 Berlin, Germany (flock.ry@googlemail.com). []

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Bringing sustainable infrastructure to urban areas

Grangé, Jérémy and Petitet, Sylvain (2014). For cities of a different nature : bringing sustainable infrastructure to urban areas. Translated by Oliver Waine. Metropolitics, 26 March 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2014 from: http://www.metropolitiques.eu/For-cities-of-a-different-nature.html

City-dwellers want to see more of their metropolitan areas turned over to nature and urban public spaces; however, our cities today are still structured by a network of roads that were primarily built to manage motor traffic flows. Sylvain Petitet and Jérémy Grangé show how implementing sustainable urban infrastructure could provide city-dwellers with easy and convenient access to the places that generate most of their journeys, revealing a new form of network-based public space.

 

 

Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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